Two Android Tablets on the Cheap, from Binatone

So many manufacturers are getting into the Android Tablet act, it's getting to be rather difficult to name them all.  Binatone (U.K.) has announced they're joining the fray, with both a 7 inch and an 8 inch model.  Not only are these tablets for those on a budget, this must be the first Android tablet I've seen with the cute green robot appearing on the product itself.

This is no Samsung Galaxy Tab, and isn't in any danger of being confused for one.  The Binatone HomeSurf 7 (pictured above) retails for only £129.99 or €169.90.  For that low price you get a resistive (instead of a capacitive) touchscreen, no GPS, no 3G, no camera, and the display resolution is a whopping 800 x 480 WVGA.  What you do get is a stylus (which goes with a resistive screen like tea and crumpets), 2 GB internal storage, an auto-rotating screen, and a microSD slot (but no storage card).

The tablet has a built-in microphone and stereo speakers, supports WiFi b/g (but no n), has a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, a built-in 3.5 mm headset jack, and a mini-USB cable for data transfer.  It plays back videos in MP4, H.264, and XVID formats.

If you want to supersize your budget tablet, there's the HomeSurf 8:

For £179.99/€229.90 you get a bigger screen, and more resolution (800 x 600 SVGA) and a charging dock with a built-in speaker.  There are 5 Cap-Sens keys.  You get an extra hour of video playback (4 instead of 3 hours) but XVID isn't supported in the larger tablet.  Everything else matches the specs for the HomeSurf 7.

Which version of Android are these cut-rate tablets running?  The press release is curiously silent on this point.  It says "Android OS."  Hey, Android 1.5 (Cupcake) fits that description.  I can safely say it isn't running Android 2.2 when WiFi doesn't support type n.

Binatone is a firm with a 50+ year history and product lines that includes telephones and GPS units.  These tablets should be of higher quality than, say, the Augen GenTouch78.

Sources: Eurodroid, What Mobile

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